Tree Pose is all about staying balanced and grounded. And with practice, you can learn to stand firm and gentle like a tree. And that’s what this pose is all about. Tree Pose has many benefits including building strength, flexibility, balance, and reducing stress to name a few. Another perk is that it’s a beginner level pose that doesn’t require any previous experience with yoga so you can start now if you want.
Below, we’re going to show you exactly how to perform the proper Tree Pose as well as modifications to make it easier if you have trouble balancing.
Let’s get started...
How to Perform Tree Pose
Step 1: Begin from Mountain Pose, with your weight evenly spread across both of your feet. It may help to roll forward a little and then back into place to ensure your weights evenly distributed. Do your best to keep your feet together but if you have issues with balance, you can spread them apart a few inches.
Step 2: Bring your hands into prayer position in the center of your chest just in front of your sternum.
Step 3: Shift your weight onto one of your feet. I usually start with the right foot. Bending at the knee, bring the opposite foot up and place the sole of your foot as high as you can on the opposite thigh.
Step 4: Take a breath and on exhale, lengthening through your spine. Imagine a line running from the crown of your head down through the floor and adjust yourself so you’re straight with the line. Ensure your hips are square with your shoulders.
Step 5: Ground into the floor and firm your balance by contacting your quads and pressing through the soul of your foot. Relax your shoulders and allow your shoulder blades to move down and in toward each other.
Step 6: Hold the pose for 30 seconds or longer. Focus on breathing deep and keeping your body long. Then repeat on the other side.
Modifications to Tree Pose
If you don’t feel comfortable with the full Tree Pose, there are several modifications that can make the pose more manageable.
1. Place Your Foot On Your Calf
Instead of bringing your foot up to your thigh (we admit, that can be a challenge), place your foot on your calf. This requires less flexibility and your foot won’t get stuck if you have to bail out of the pose. It’s important to note that you should never place your foot against your knee. This puts sideways pressure on the joint which can cause pain or injury.
2. Use a “Kickstand” For Tree Pose
Instead of placing your foot on your leg, simply prop your heel against your opposite foot and keep the ball of your foot on the ground. This is a great place to start if you have trouble balancing.
3. Tree Pose In a Chair
Maybe you need a little help and you’re not quite there with the standing Tree Pose. Not to worry! This is another variation that anyone can start with.
To perform, you’ll sit in a chair with your feet out in front of you. Place the sole of your foot against the opposite leg (or on a yoga block) and put your arms into a big “V” shape above your head. Hold it for 30 seconds or longer and repeat with the opposite leg. This variation helps to stretch your hamstrings, glutes, back, and build strength in your upper back and shoulders.
4. Use The Wall
If you have trouble with balance, but don’t have any issues standing on one leg, try using a wall or chair next to you. This provides you something to hold onto or, if its a wall, you can have your back against it to ensure proper spinal alignment.
Benefits Of Tree Pose
- Tree Pose helps you build balance, strength, and stability.
- Helps improve focus and connection with your body/center of gravity
- Brings your focus back to the present moment and helps relieve stress
- Corrects posture and teaches you proper spinal alignment
- Lengthens the muscles of your legs and strengthens your glutes
- Builds core strength
- Boosts energy and reduces fatigue
- Stretches your core muscles
- Helps you feel more confident and relaxed
Just like any other health routine, yoga comes with some contradictions. So if you’re pregnant, suffer from vertigo or other dizziness issues, have high blood pressure, or you’re at risk of falling, make sure you clear this with your doctor and only perform the pose with supervision.
You’re doing yoga to feel better so the last thing anyone wants is for you to get hurt. After all, we want you to have a long life filled with yoga and abundant health.
Preparation Yoga Poses
- Mountain Pose
- Warrior Pose
- Bound Angle Pose
Related Yoga Poses
- Sanskrit Name: Vrksasana (vrik-SHAHS-uh-nah)
- Difficulty: Beginner